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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
I'll start by saying thank you to all the witnesses for making time to be with us here today, particularly those who had to travel long distances.
Mr. Kucheran, we talk about the labour mobility provisions. It is a frustration of mine. If you look at the CPTPP, for instance, you see that chapter 12 has a lot of labour mobility provisions that might not look terrible on paper but are quite open to abuse. I know there are some follow-up discussions happening to try to get adequate record-keeping of who's coming into the country under chapter 12 and for what purposes. Chapter 16 of CUSMA allows for temporary entry for a business person. I wonder if there are similar concerns about chapter 16 in CUSMA as we saw with chapter 12 in the TPP. Beyond that, it's a frustration for me, and it might well be for you. We see labour mobility provisions that have something to do with bringing people into Canada to provide wage competition. But when you have comparable certifications and you could actually facilitate the movement of labour across a border without its being about wage competition or about bringing in folks who don't have the same level of certification and therefore charge less for their labour, or when it's easier to get people in large numbers if the threshold for certification is lower.... When we actually have what could be a fair trade in labour, we can't seem to get provisions that facilitate that, which makes it hard.
I'm an IBEW 2085 member. I'm a construction electrician. I know that work is sometimes short out here and that there's work in the States. Guys can't go to a sister hall in the States and work out of there, and vice versa when there has been an abundance of work in Canada sometimes. Employers have been complaining about skilled labour shortages and we have brothers and sisters in the United States who are out of work and would love to come to Canada and work on a job after Canadians have had their first crack at it. Do you have any sense as to why it is we can't get labour mobility provisions for non-competitive labour and why we only seem to get it when it's about under-cutting Canadian workers' wages?
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